Taking Flight…

Picture of the Week #89

SubscribeFiled Under: Picture of the Week,by Neeraj

In this northern Indian state, cannabis or marijuana (or ganja) plants can literally be found on the roadside. I was surprised when I came across these plants on way to Tattapani, which is known (although not well known) for its hot water springs.

It was while driving to Tattapani, which means “hot water” in Punjabi, that I learned about Himachal Pradesh’s illicit drug trade. Tattapani is near to state’s capital city, Shimla – known as the “Queen of Hillstations”.

Apparently, marijuana grown in and around Shimla is supplied domestically and marijuana grown in and around Manali, a northern city in the same state, is exported internationally. To avoid prosecution, plants are (cleverly) planted on government property. It’s big business – and a big high!

Tattapani is located on the bank of Sutlej River. Sutlej is the third-largest river in the Himalayas.

The springs are famous for its heavy sulfur content. Sulfur has many medicinal properties. It is used to treat skin diseases. If you stand like this with your feet buried in sand, it gets very hot. The river water is ice cold but if you bury your feet in sand, then it feels very hot! There were also actual hot water springs near by.

The water is grey because of heavy clay content. Clay is used to make cement. Many companies “steal” truck-loads of clay from here to make cement, thus leading to environmental degradation.

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